US—1860 Federal Census


Record Fields and Indexing Instructions

Image Type

Image Type

Click in the Image Type field, and then click the option from the list that best describes the image.

If the image is normal and has information to be indexed, select Normal. Then press Tab or Enter.

If the image is blank, is an exact duplicate of a previous image in the same batch, or is unreadable, select the corresponding option from the list. If the image does not contain a census return from the 1865 state census, select No Extractable Data Image. Press Tab or Enter, and, on the warning message, click Yes. Then submit the batch.

Click here to see an example: Normal

Page Number

Page Number

The page number is located in either the upper left or right corner of the page, with the word “Page” in front of it.

The page number was usually handwritten not stamped on the page.

If the page number was not recorded or unreadable, press Tab to skip this field.

Click here to see an example: 20

Line Number

Line Number

Type the line number that was written or stamped on each record.

The line number was recorded on both sides of the entry line. If the line number is not visible or legible on the left side of the entry line, check the line number on the other side of the entry line.

If the line number was not recorded or contains a variation of the word unknown, press Ctrl+B to mark this field as blank.

Click here to see an example: 1

Family Number

Family Number

Type the family number that was recorded in column 2 of the census form.

The family number was usually written only once, next to the first name listed for each household. However, it needs to be repeated for all members of the same household.

If the census taker began recording a household at the bottom of the previous census page and continued at the top of the page you are indexing, you should be able to find the family number from the previous image by doing the following:

  • In the menu bar, click View.
  • Click Show Previous or Next Image.
  • In the window that appears, click the Previous Image button.
  • Scroll to find the last family number on the previous image.
  • Type the family number for each person in the household on the page you are indexing.
  • Return to normal view by clicking View and then Show Previous or Next Image.

If the family number was not recorded, was written as a variation of the word "unknown," or cannot be determined from the previous image, press Ctrl+B to mark this field as blank.

Click here to see an example: 128

Given Names

Given Names

Type the given names that were written in column 3 of the census form.

The given names may be written either before or after the surname. Be sure to type the parts of the name in the correct fields on the indexing screen. If you cannot determine if a name is a given name or a surname, index it in the Given Names field.

Do not include titles or terms, such as Miss, Jr, or Mr, with the name. If a name was abbreviated, type it as it was written on the document. Do not type a period after the abbreviation. Do not index punctuation, except hyphens and apostrophes when they were written on the document as part of the name.

If given names were not recorded or were written as a variation of the word "unknown," press Ctrl+B to mark this field as blank.

Click here to see an example: Joseph

Surname

Surname

Type the surname that was written in column 3 of the census form.

The surname may have been written just once for the entire family, next to the given names of the first family member, and the remaining family members may have some variation of ditto marks in place of the surname or no surname recorded at all. If so, the surname needs to be repeated for each family member.

If the surname was repeated for each family member, look at all the versions of the surname, and type the most complete or legible version. If the census taker began recording a household at the bottom of the previous census page and continued at the top of the page you are indexing, you may need to look at the previous page to find the surname. (See the field help for the Family Number field for instructions on how to view the previous image.)

The surname may be written either before or after the given names. Be sure to type the parts of the name in the correct fields on the indexing screen. If you cannot determine if a name is a given name or a surname, index it in the Given Names field.

Do not include titles or terms, such as Mr, Jr, or Mrs, with the name. Do not index punctuation, except hyphens and apostrophes when they were written on the document as part of the name.

If the surname was not recorded or was written as a variation of the word "unknown," press Ctrl+B to mark this field as blank.

Click here to see an example: Williams

Titles or Terms

Titles or Terms

Type titles or terms, such as Sr, Jr, Mrs, or Mr, that were recorded with the name on the census form.

If a title or term was abbreviated, type it as it was written on the document. Do not type a period after the abbreviation.

If titles or terms were not recorded, press Tab to skip this field.

Age

Age

Type the age that was written in column 6 of the census form.

Index only full years. If fractions of years were recorded, round down to the nearest full year. If less than one year was recorded, index the age as 0 (zero).

If the age was not recorded or was written as a variation of the word "unknown," press Tab to skip this field.

Click here to see an example: 28

Gender

Gender

Type either M (for male) or F (for female), according to what was written in column 5 of the census form.

Index the gender only if it was specifically recorded or you can tell what it was from relationship terms, such as "son," "daughter," or "wife," or from other indications in the record, such as the titles "Mr" or "Mrs." Do not assume a gender based on given names.

If the gender was not recorded or was written as a variation of the word "unknown," press Ctrl+B to mark this field as blank.

Click here to see an example: F

Place of Birth

Place of Birth

Type the place of birth that was written in column 10.

If the place of birth was misspelled, spell it correctly. If it was abbreviated and you can determine what the abbreviation stands for, type the complete name instead of the abbreviation. Use the lookup list for assistance. If you are not sure what the abbreviation stands for, index what was written, excluding punctuation.

If the place of birth was not recorded or was written as a variation of the word "unknown," press Ctrl+B to mark this field as blank.

Click here to see an exampleAlabama